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Stackyard News Jul 06

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New Suffolk recording scheme launched

A new recording scheme, instigated by the Suffolk Sheep Society for its members was launched this week (Monday July 10) at a QMS sheep breeding open evening, hosted by leading Suffolk breeder, Robbie Wilson, of Aberdeenshire.

Host of the QMS breed improvement evening, Robbie Wilson of the Srathisla flock, where figures are increasingly important selection criteria.

Robbie Wilson

Sam Boom, Signet Manager, told some 30 pedigree and commercial sheep producers, that the unique agreement between MLC Signet and the Suffolk Sheep Society will provide recording to all Suffolk Society members, UK and Irish, as part of their overall membership service.

This development follows a two year recording promotion drive which has seen a 35% increase in the number of Suffolks recorded with Signet; and debate sparked by leading New Zealand sheep breeder, Murray Rohloff, at the Society’s highly successful Spring Conference. It will enable every Society member to enjoy a basic recording system as part of his or her overall membership, with effect from January, 2007.

The basic, “Silver,” recording package, which will be part of the overall membership, will include the ability to record and create EBVs for the following traits:

  • Prolificacy
  • Birth weights
  • Lambing ease
  • Lamb vigour
  • Ability to suck
  • Single weighing

The full, Gold, recording service will include a second weighing, together with ultra sound scanning for:

  • eye muscle depth
  • fat cover
  • muscularity
  • (optional CT scanning -whole body scan)

Members subscribing to the Gold scheme will receive a voucher, to the same value as the Silver service, towards their fee.

Robbie Wilson, of the renowned Strathisla flock, welcomed the move: “The carcase is the most important driver and figures are essential to achieving the carcase quality today’s market requires. We only have to look across at the beef industry to see this.

“Most of the top breeders are now recording, but the wealth of data which will be created by the new service will be unprecedented and of huge benefit both to individual members and more importantly to our commercial customers. Certainly more buyers are paying attention to the ‘Suffolk’s figures to kill campaign’ for and I think that will be borne out at the Society’s sales which start next week in Edinburgh.”

Commenting on the new services, Sam Boon added: “This is an excellent example of Signet working in partnership with it’s customers to meet their needs. The Suffolk Society’s new service will enable all members to contribute to the development of the Society and benchmark themselves against the whole breed performance. Furthermore the Silver recording scheme builds foundation records which can be used if Gold recording is embraced at a future date.”

Says Suffolk Sheep Society commercial director Robyn Hulme: “This arrangement is possible because the BASCO database has been built to accommodate new and different traits and made simple by the shared use of the data between the Society and Signet. There will be extra work inputting the data, but we firmly believe that the benefits to all members are worth the effort.

“The Society’s total commitment to breed improvement, including both basic performance and management traits, is reinforced by this revolutionary move, which continues the Society’s drive to deliver ‘figures to kill for.’”

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